How I Reversed Hypothyroidism Naturally… TWICE!

Just over a month ago, in the post Even Saints Miss the Mark Every Now and Then [Medication Free Pregnancy], I told you about my temptation to go on meds, for my once healthy thyroid, for the sake of my developing baby Sprout.  It was a temporary temptation, however, and I resolved to forgo the “pleasure” of any possible side effects in lieu of a  natural approach… once again.

Background

Hypothyroidism Treatment

If you have not read the article, or the one that led to it, or if you are new to Vegalicious, here is a quick summary:

Several years ago, after years of struggle and suffering, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism AND a pituitary gland tumor, i.e. pituitary adenoma.  My OB/GYN, the one who finally pronounced the diagnoses, had also pronounced my sentence: “You have to be on medication for the rest of your life for both, and there is no cure.”  He handed me over two prescriptions and… he was done treating me.  As I walked out of his office I resolved to come back for a follow up only once I had reversed both: hypothyroidism, and whatever it was that was called pituitary adenoma.

You can read about my struggle and journey to healing on the About Me page: How I Reversed Hypothyroidism Naturally.  I was able to bring my TSH [Thyroid Stimulating Hormone] to 1.66 last year, from over 5.0 at the original time of diagnosis.

Pituitary Adenoma

As the time went on, though, I could not find anything to beat the symptoms of pituitary gland tumor, but I refused to go on medication… which meant that I could not conceive.  Needless to say, as the hand of time moved forward, this fact became more and more devastating.  I knew that I wanted to be a mother, but I wanted to do so NATURALLY!  By the beginning of this year, however, for the first time in 5 years, I became weak and caved in–I temporarily went on medication to suppress prolactin production so I could conceive.  You can read the entire account of the events here: Even Saints Miss the Mark Every Now and Then.

I was miserable on the medication, and it made me feel worse, instead of better.  I still was lactating, and 5.5 months into the “treatment” I still was barren.  That was the lowest point of my struggle this year, and I was DONE! I decided to get off meds, and, even if it took me 5 more years, spend time praying and searching for a natural cure for adenoma, although I was told it was incurable, but I am stubborn AND I believe in a miracle working God.

Adenoma Cure?

Can you believe the miracle–that is how I know God hears AND answers my prayers–when less than a week after making that decision I found THE ANSWER?! It was no other than B12 treatment.  Make sure to read all of the articles in B12 category to see how my research, diagnosis and treatment progressed [go from first to last post].

By then, however, the medication for pituitary adenoma had done its damage–my TSH shot up to 3.6–devastating news, but not for someone who reversed it once before.  There was a catch this time around, however, I got pregnant only 1 month into B12 treatment: A Happy Interlude {Vitamin B12 Natural Infertility Treatment}.  With TSH this high, I was, according to my doctor, “putting my baby in danger of being brain damaged”, if I did not go on medication for thyroid.  Needless to say, I agonized over it that whole day, but at the end of it, I gave it all to God, and leaned back on my experience, research and common senseI decided AGAINST medication.  I knew that if I reversed hypothyroidism naturally once, I can do it again, so help me God.  So, I made a plan… [for details click on the link]

The Plan

The plan was made about 5 weeks ago :).

While recovering from hypothyroidism I refused to demonize any plant foods.  Many web-sites and doctors say that cruciferous vegetables are not good for hypothyroid population.  I refused to believe it.  I ate them the entire time while healing and was just fine.  As of now, however, although still sticking to my guns, and I would tell anyone the same if anyone asked me, I am going to cut down their intake to no more than once a week.

I will also avoid any and all soy product, so no vegan cheese or mayo for me :( .

I am upping my sea vegetable intake, along with increasing maca root powder daily amount.

I am doubling up on the greens and going gluten free, as much as possible.  Although I know that I do not have gluten sensitivities, it is a fact that gluten can interfere with thyroid function.  As such I prefer to err on the side of caution, if I err at all.

I also had kept and Adrenal supplement, which is safe to take through pregnancy, so I will be using it for the next few weeks, and I am be continuing with B12 injections and sublingual supplementation as well.

I am thinking about adding natural progesterone supplement, and will be soon talking to my ND about it. I know I might have to do it for only a short period of time, until my kiddo takes over :) .

I am also going to be 100% organic through the entire pregnancy.  Even before conception we were about 98-99% organic, but from now on it is all the way!

Did the Plan Work?

I quickly figured out that plans, as great as they might be, are very subjective during pregnancy.  Beginning the second month of the first trimester, I could not as much as look at green smoothies, let alone make myself drink them.  I think I managed to down about 3 of them for the entire month!

I did avoid soy products, but… I never really consumed them before either, save occasional cheese, mayo and sour cream.  I did, however, still sparingly used these products.

Cruciferous vegetables–although eating less of them for only a short while, and that was mostly by default, because of food aversions, I still had my beloved cabbage, kale, spinach, etc. I simply continued to rotate them, along with other foods.

No gluten… well, with pregnancy cravings that did not work so well after all.  I held out for about a week and a half, and then the cravings hit me so hard, I caved in ;).

Sea vegetable and maca root powder–I could not smell them–YUCK! So, some days I got around that aversion by encapsulating both, however, I still was not taking in as much as I wanted to.

Adrenal supplement–I lasted only about 1.5 weeks on it, and found that my body was simply rejecting it–I did not feel that I needed to take it, and also could not stand the smell of it.  [Not that I always go by “feelings”, but having a healthy diet I have learned to listen to my body when it makes sense to.]

Natural progesterone supplement–I also took it for only 1.5 weeks, but found that my body was operating just fine on its own, so I discontinued it.

The things that I did stick with, no compromises: being 100% plant based, nearly 100% organic, and B12 injections went on as planned.

When the time came for me to go get tested, especially since, with B12 treatment the symptoms of pituitary adenoma disappeared [click to read details], I procrastinated a little, being concerned that my TSH numbers would not be where I would want them, especially because two tests before that they had not changed at all.

Did It Work?

Last week, finally, I decided it was time.  What prompted me to do that was the fact that I felt my body changing with pregnancy, there was soreness and my breasts, which signaled that prolactin levels start rising, which they did, and I wanted to get them tested BEFORE prolactin increased too much.  It was a little too late for that, at that point, but I had to get in as quickly as I could to see how I was doing anyway.

Yesterday I got a call from my Doc’s office, and it was the best news I could have awakened to.

“Your results are in,” the nurse said, as I tried to peel my eyes open.

I held my breath for a moment, “Yes.  So, HOW am I doing?”

The next words out of her mouth made my jump out of my bed:

“Your TSH is a bit high, but it is in an acceptable range,” she said.  [Mind you, some doctors/labs would tell you that at this level it is normal, but more about that in just one sec.]

“Would you mind elaborating?” I held my breath.

“It is 2.2.”

WHAT? So, you mean to tell me that in spite of me not being able to do as much as I wanted to, I still dropped over 1.4?!  YES! That was exactly the news.

To make it better, I was told that my prolactin levels are perfectly normal for a pregnant woman–the normal range is 34-386 mcg/L, while mine was 112!!! And that was after I felt by body change in preparation for my Sprout.  Had I gone to test a couple of weeks earlier, it would have been much lower; and had I tested it if I were not pregnant, having undergone B12 treatment, I know it would have been perfectly normal.

So, How did I do?

I think not bad, considering the circumstances 🙂 AND ALL medication free!

Here is the tricky part, though, and it makes me laugh just thinking about it, I think that my Doc is thinking that the numbers went down because I went on meds he prescibed… but I never picked up the prescription, or the sample he left for me :).  I am planning to tell him the truth after my next lab test, which I will be doing in a month.  With nausea and food aversions over, I am now, starting this week, drinking greens daily, and my raw intake is going up, along with wonderful things like: wheat grass, maca root powder, and sea vegetable powders, even if I have to keep encapsulating them to get myself even better than now.  So, I imagine my thyroid function will be back to NORMAL in the next 4 weeks.

I am excited!  I keep basking in the knowledge that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE. (Mark 9:23) and, of course, for those who are willing to take the steps to receive miracles they are praying for, such as changing one’s diet and lifestyle 🙂 (this portion comes from the “Book of Elena” :)).

And, since no post is complete without a good picture, here is what I made for dinner last night: whole wheat vegan pasta, with garlic sour cream [vegan]=YUM!

[garlic sauce: 2 tbsp vegan sour cream, 1 crushed clove of garlic, chopped dill and green onions]

[toppings: vegan cheese, apples, fresh green onion and dill]

This post is a continuation of B12 Deficiency Series.

Complete B12 Research

To get the entire report of my B12 research either:

  1. go through B12 category on this site, starting from the earliest post, or, make it easier and
  2. get newly released B12 Research Report, which will have every single detail of my research in it (click on the link or the image below)

sidebar-b12-deficiency_cover

Curing Hypothyroidism with Diet eCourse

If you would like to learn how you can cure hypothyroidism with diet, get “Curing Hypothyroidism with” eCourse.

In the eCourse I discuss:

▪ whether it is possible to cure hypothyroidism
▪ what science is saying about diet and thyroid health
▪ which diet is best for preventing and curing hypothyroidism
▪ what to do to achieve optimal thyroid health
▪ whether you can live medication free if you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism
▪ what to do if you were diagnosed with Hashimoto thyroiditis, and
▪ which foods to avoid to improve thyroid health, to avoid developing hypothyroidism or aggravating and existing case of hypothyroidism.

If you, or your loved one, is struggling with thyroid disease, you will want to have this eCourse!

curing-hypothyroidism-with-diet

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If you don’t have thyroid issues but know someone who does–send this post with them, so they can learn how to improve their thyroid health naturally.

learn how to get the body and health you’ll love

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  • Leigh

    Hi how much maca powder did you take in a day? I am on a non snytheic thyroid med called Nature Thyroid.I got on it after giving birth to my girl who is now 5 years old. I had some symptoms and my body was crazy which is a whole other crazy story. I have a neurological condition that went haywire and had to be on Lyrica. I was told I would be in a power wheel chair in a year. I would not have it, and believed God would guide me. 5 years later not only am I not not in a wheel chair I also am off Lyrica. I eat really clean. No processed foods,milk, or gluten. I eat organic greens . I do acuputure, exercise, pray/meditate I do eat wild caught fish and grassfed beef because my myelin is damaged and it has helped it. ( per Dr. Wahls advice for people with MS, she healed her MS) I have CMT also myelin affected condition. My neurologist was shocked to discovered my sensory nerves got better. All through food and my God. Fast forward to me living an healthy life I am currently maintaining. I’m still taking a low does nature thyroid and we got pregnant. Last year we lost two boys at the same week 11 weeks. ( we did test) I ate more healthy than ever pregnant with my first two kids I have now. I just discovered my vitamin D level is low. Now I m taking 10,000 and I am feeling more energy.Testing it again soon with MD. When pregnant with both boys I noticed my thyroid meds had to be changed to higher doses to keep it in range. I WOULD love to get off this thyriod medication. I think I could heal it naturaly through maca powder because I have read of people getting off their meds that way. DO you know how much to take? I have an appt with a Encrologost in a month and I’m hoping to get it lower. I am on 1/2 teapoon a day on my green,fruit smoothie. Should I take more? God Bless

    • Leigh, hi! I took about 1 tbsp a day.

      I am so happy you are doing better. Since you believe in the Creator, then I can tell you that we are given the supernatural medicine, that is very natural and practical–it is called plant foods. They are filled with nutrients that can heal bodies, and there is no reason most of us should ever be sick. You will find that if you take B12 (or even go through B12 therapy), you will have no need to eat flesh foods (meat of any kind) at all. That’s what saved me, because I had a similar problem. I have known closely people with MS and my mentor treats a lot of patients with MS–we find that a gluten free, dairy free diet is the best (no processed sugars either), and either being altogether meat free (going vegan) or having only 3 small servings of flesh foods (max) a weeks is what will have you feel best.

      I am sorry to hear about the loss of your boys.

      Here is an article about vit. D, that might he of help: http://www.vega-licious.com/causes-of-vitamin-d-deficiency-and-10-reasons-to-avoid-supplementation/

      When it comes to “range” identifiers, do not make those your gospel, as the studies are showing that we should not mess with thyroid (when it comes to meds), when the numbers are under 10 (for TSH).

      So, a plant based diet, based on whole foods and B12 will be the best way to go for you.

      Congratulations!

  • chaity

    Hello Elena, First of all thanks for responding. You had actually shown me a ray of hope. Can I not get your help. Kindly let me know how to be your client as mentioned by you…
    Rgds,
    Chaity.

  • chaity

    Hello Elena,
    I have gone through all the post of yours and seemed very inspiring. Last year I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I took all the courage to first believe this and got this operated. I was also on a Isotope treatment for 2 days. The doctors removed my thyroid and put me on Thyronorm 150 mg. I am married for 8 years and I am not able to conceive. Kindly suggest me a way out.
    Rgds,
    Ch.

    • Chaity, hi! I cannot make make any recommendations on issues as such to anyone except for my clients. I am very sorry to hear about your situation.

  • Rachel

    I tried and did all these things for my congenital hypothyroidism and my symptoms worsened. I ended up in a coma for some time and finally recovered. Some people are just so ignorant and don’t think of people who were born with an undeveloped thyroid. Thanks for your help Elena!

    • Ignorance is when people don’t know their condition themselves. Most of thyroid issues are due to dietary and lifestyle choices. Some are inborn. It is you responsibility to know your disease. My articles tell my story, not anyone else’s, unless it’s clients who I worked with. Everyone’s case is different and the changes should be supervised–that’s the reason I work with clients privately, in conjunction with their health practitioners. Reading one article and doing things that might not be applicable to you is something that you should evaluate for yourself, without blaming others. Just like you shouldn’t perform a brain surgery on yourself, having read about how to do one, the changes you were making should have been supervised by someone who has an experience in the field.

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  • Priya

    Did you get your thyroid antibodies diagnosed? I have similar experience that my TSH was extreme high and came in acceptable range after dropping medications.
    I was happy about it but after two years, weakness numbness irritation hairfall weight gain etc symptoms appeared and TSH was still normal. Doctor asked me to take thyroid antibodies test and it was found that my antibodies were attacking my thyroid. I ended on two diseases and more medicines for hypothyroid and anti-thyroditis:(
    I hope your experience remains a good one forever with controlled TSH and no medications.

    • Priya, I never tested for those. I am doing better than ever and my latest test confirmed it: http://www.vega-licious.com/reversing-hypothyroidism-diet-6-year-update/

      I am sorry to hear about your experience.Some of your symptoms also sound like you might be B12 deficient, especially with hair falling out, numbness, etc., and these things, if caught on time, can be easily fixed. I would HIGHLY recommend pursuing this route, to ensure that you do not suffer for a simple matter like this, which, otherwise, can become deadly. Check under B12 category on this blog, or check out this report: http://www.vega-licious.com/books/red-hope-b12-deficiency-research-report/

      B12 treatment had saved my life and has helped a lot of Vegalicious readers since.

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  • Margaret

    Hi Elena, I was diagnosed & hospitalised with Hypothyroidism over a year ago but unlike you was not brave enough ( I felt too ill ) not to take the medication although I have always preferred natural remedies. I have read numerous books & conducted various studies but am unsure if I can stop taking the Levothyroxine & go natural. I eat this way anyway but still take medication, but feel it is of no help as I still suffer symptoms of HT but my labs are normal. I take supplements but feel they interact with medication. I would like to stop but my GP is against this. I am at a loss.
    Margaret.

    • Margaret, if your situation required it and you had to be on meds to feel better, that is ok. There are some extreme situations and your seems like it might have been one.

      I am not sure how severe your HT is, but I have had many program participants improve their thyroid function, and many have gotten off meds, while some were able to begin slowly reducing theirs. I think it is possible, given that you eat a perfect diet (the way I teach) and give your body time to heal.

      And you are right, many times, meds do nothing more but drive numbers to look normal, while leaving the people who take them, feeling miserable all the same. I suggest a few things, in addition to diet to improve thyroid function. I described them in these posts:

      http://www.vega-licious.com/how-to-reverse-hypothyroidism-naturally/

      http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/dangers-of-birth-control-medications-part-6-how-to-reclaim-your-health-after-birth-control/

      and in the free ebook I offer on my site.

      If your GP is against you trying to go meds free, FIND ANOTHER ONE who will work with you!

  • Josephine

    Hi Elena,

    First I want to thank you for sharing your journey with us, it has been an unbelievable blessing and source of hope for me. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant since September and when I turned 38 in January and realized I wasn’t pregnant despite having positive LH surges I made an appt with an OB/GYN. I had some bloodwork done and my TSH came back at 4.19. I was shocked and scared. I have been vegan since Aug 2010 after a lifetime of lacto-ovo-vegetarianism. I went High raw in Jan 2011 but slacked off considerably over the past year. I have always had good health and took pride in it although depression and anxiety have plagued my all of my adult life. Anyways last night when I found out my results I just started reading and reading online and was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find any real testimonials of people reversing their hypothyroidism. This morning I found your blog and have spent hours pouring all of your information. Thank you so much for all the the time and care and detail that you put into each blog. I do have one question about how long it took you to reverse your hypothyroidism the second time. From your blog it seems like it took a really short time, like 2months, to drop your tsh from 3.6ish to 2.2. As I am approaching 40 in just under 2years, my biological clock is alarming so as I am sure you can imagine I feel like I am out of time and won’t be able to drop my tsh soon enough. As a christian I get a lot of assurance from the story of Abraham and Sarah, but as a human I am anxious about what the future holds. I am soliciting your prayers and look forward to hearing from you soon. You have a beautiful family and God’s love shines through your work. Thank you for letting God use you as a vessel.
    God bess you,
    Josephine

    • Josephine, yes, the second time around I got it fixed quick! I went on b12 shots, got pregnant, then got retested with TSH a couple few weeks later and was back in the normal zone. I certainly was feeling great. If you read through B12 portion of the free report I offer, you will find that it is the cause of infertility a lot of the times, when deficiency is present (male and female); in addition to that people with thyroid issues are often deficient as well. If you try to do as many of these things as possible (found in in these articles:

      1. http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/how-to-reverse-hypothyroidism-naturally/

      2.http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/reversing-hypothyroidism-naturally-few-words-of-advice-hypothyroidism-natural-treatment/

      3.http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/dangers-of-birth-control-medications-part-6-how-to-reclaim-your-health-after-birth-control/)

      you will help yourself tremendously. Some of my clients, who followed this advice were able to either improve or reverse their hypothyroid condition.

      I totally understand you wanting a baby. I had mine at 36 and trust me, my clock was ticking LOUD!

      Welcome to the community! I hope to see you around here, and I hope this helps. I certainly pray for your miracle, as God gave us the means to get our, may He also do the same for you!

      • Josephine

        Elena, I shared this news with you on Facebook but I had to post here as well!

        I had by blood drawn nearly two months after my initial TSH of 4.19 and it was 4.64. As you can expect I was very disheartened and tempted to start meds but I stayed firm with God’s grace and your inspiration and just kept pushing forward. I saw my MD and he added to my doubt and listed all of the risks of not taking the synthetic hormone and I was tempted again to take the medication. But kept praying and pushing. I check my TSH again on May 29th and it was 2.0!!!!!! I was in shock and overjoyed I couldn’t believe it!!! I am so grateful to God for His mercy and I thank you for sharing your testimony to the world and your commitment to help others! God bless you!!!

        • Praise God! This is wonderful! Did you do anything different since posting here?

        • Ana Isaza

          hello Josephine! i would like to talk to you about your healing process, i really need some hope ! please! could I contact you by email ? facebook o any other way ? thank you very very much !!!

    • I should add that if you are not doing B12, or have not been even tested for it, you should make it a priority. If you go through B12 articles and have a few symptoms check up against the list, you will have a better understanding of its importance 🙂

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  • Hey Elena,
    I was reading over this. Being new at all this I guess this blog has to do with something I found googling called Goitrogens? Is that correct? I had never heard of it and actually can’t remember how I came across the topic. The article I read said something about if we steamed these kinds of certain vegetables that it will lessen the goitrogenic compounds to lessen the effect on the tyroid.. Do you steam any greens at all before putting them in your smoothies or do you solely just do the rotation which it says helps also. Also, you can tell I have a million questions;) but do you ever eat tofu or edamame (spelling?) since it is soy? I have all these questions because my mother had thyroid trouble and goiters and trying to avoid all  that. Thank You!

    • Tyrene, cruciferous vegetables are believed to be goiterogenic, but I believe this assumption to be totally FALSE. Here is the reason why: 

      Soy foods and cruciferous vegetables have unique nutritional value, and intake of these foods has been associated with decreased risk of disease in many research studies. 
      Because carefully controlled research studies have yet to take place on the relationship between goitrogenic foods and thyroid hormone deficiency, healthcare practitioners differ greatly on their perspectives as to whether a person who has thyroid problems, and notably a thyroid hormone deficiency, should limit their intake of goitrogenic foods. Most practitioners use words like “overconsumption” or “excessive” to describe the kind of goitrogen intake that would be a problem for individuals with thyroid hormone deficiency. 

      There is no solid evidence to convince me that plant foods would cause goiters.  I had eaten and still eat so called “goiterogenic” foods while reversing hypothyroid and it did not slow me a BIT! AT ALL! 

      So, no, I do not steam my greens at all–I like them RAW ;).  I do rotate ALL of my foods, not just the ones that fall into goiterogenic category, and I do so to get maximum benefit from all foods. 

      As for tofu–I am not a huge fan, so I eat it VERY rarely, but always make sure to get it organic, since SOY just like CORN, unless organic is generally GMO and greatly contaminated.  I also make sure that it has no chemicals in it.  As for edamame, you can eat them safely.  Again, I am not a HUGE fan, so if it happens that I eat the beans, then I do, if not… no problem either 😉 But I do not purposefully stay away from these foods. 

      The optimal way to address thyroid issues is by changing to an optimal diet, which would be plant based and whole foods, unprocessed, and eliminating animal foods, which cause hormone disruptions, along with processed foods and all the junk out there.  It is also a good idea to start supplementing with B12 (info can be found in the free report I offer, esp about dosage and the kind of B12 you would want); and I suggest she follows a plan/lifestyle like the one you will find described at the bottom of this post: 
      http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/dangers-of-birth-control-medications-part-6-how-to-reclaim-your-health-after-birth-control/ IT will be that, NOT avoidance of plant foods that will help her heal her thyroid. 🙂

      I wish her all the best. 

  • Bndslave

    I’m just now addressing a possible means of herbs to stimulate the thyroid through naturalpathy. Is there a medical reason for not consuming meats that I should address? Thanx for your posts, I found the information insightful.

    • Yes, make sure to read this post http://www.vega-licious.com/2009/08/how-to-reverse-hypothyroidism-naturally/ with links in it and then download the free report.  In short, animal hormones disrupt ours, so in the long run it puts our bodies out of balance, especially with meats produced in our modern world.  There is just too much junk in them, even the organic ones.  In the long run, if you quit meat, you won’t even miss it. I never regretted my decision and am healthier and stronger than ever. 

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  • Donna

    Just thought you might like to know, that YES, you can have cheese and mayo.  Daiya cheese is soy free and so IS one brand of Vegenaise. 

    God is large and in CHARGE

    • Donna, I do know and use daiya, but Vegenaise has only one soy free option, which is not organic :(, nut thanks for reminding me, I just might try it.

  • Congrats– that’s so awesome!

    • Thanks! I am SOOOOO excited!